Oil prices rise on signs of easing Sino-US trade tensions

13 December 2018 (Last Updated December 13th, 2018 12:58)

Oil prices have increased following a drop in US crude stockpiles and over signs of easing trade tensions between the US and China.

Oil prices have increased following a drop in the US crude stockpiles and over signs of easing trade tensions between the US and China.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose by 21 cents a barrel, or 0.4%, to trade at $60.36 while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 increased by ten cents, or 0.2%, to reach $51.25, Reuters reported.

On 12 Wednesday, Beijing made its first major US soybean purchases in more than six months, triggering hopes of a trade deal and a rally across stock markets.

Oil prices were also supported by a decrease in US crude stocks. US crude inventories USOILC=ECI declined by 1.2 million barrels last week.

“Rising US output, weaker economic growth and the production cut agreement roll-off will see a balanced market in H2.”

Analysts also opined that the supply cuts announced by producer cartel OPEC and other suppliers last week would stabilise the supply-demand balance next year.

ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The agreement of a reduction in output of 1.2 million barrels per day (Mbpd) at last week’s OPEC meeting should see the market push into (supply) deficit in H1 2019.

“Rising US output, weaker economic growth and the production cut agreement roll-off will see a balanced market in H2.”

ANZ expects Brent futures to reach $75 a barrel in the first quarter of next year.

A further rise in prices was capped after OPEC decreased its 2019 demand forecast by 100,000bpd to 31.44Mbpd.

The revised demand forecast adds to fears expressed by several analysts that OPEC-led production cuts might not be enough to remove supply glut and support prices.

Meanwhile, US crude production C-OUT-T-EIA hit a record 11.7Mbpd.